Skip over navigation
Brown Home Brown Home Brown University Cogut Center for the Humanities Brown Home Brown Home Brown University

and the Question of Community

November 12-13, 2010
Pembroke Hall 305

This colloquium is organized and hosted by the Cogut Center for the Humanities, in collaboration with the Departments of Comparative Literature, English, Modern Culture and Media, and German Studies.  It will bring together scholars to present research in progress on the principles, practices, experiences, and theories of community in Enlightenment and post-Enlightenment literatures and cultures, with a special emphasis on Romantic literature and thought.

The objective will be to locate particular moments in European culture that testify to attempts in the wake of Romanticism to rethink common life. The event is a timely one and its implications will result in establishing engagements with contemporary discussions focused on questions of belonging, cosmopolitanism, citizenship, and national identity.

A copy of the colloquium schedule.

A copy of the poster.

The photo gallery of the colloquium.


Robert Kaufman
Associate Professor of Comparative Literature
University of California, Berkeley
Robert Kaufman is the author of the forthcoming Negative Romanticism: Adornian Aesthetics in Keats, Shelley, and Modern Poetry, which examines the relationships between “second-generation” British Romanticism and modern attempts (from Keats, Shelley, and Kant, to Brecht, Vallejo, Zukofsky, and the Frankfurt School, to recent lyric poetry and critical theory) to develop a progressive, “critical” poetry, poetics, and aesthetics. Kaufman is at work on two interrelated book projects: Why Poetry Should Matter–to the Left; and Modernism after Postmodernism? Robert Duncan and the Future-Present of American Poetry.
Lecture Title: "Community of Experience-Judgment-Agency, or, How Romanticism Became Modernism, How Modernism Went Missing—and What's Next"

Thomas Pfau
Eads Family Professor of English and Professor of German and Germanic Languages & Literature
Duke University
Thomas Pfau's scholarly interests include topics in eighteenth- and nineteenth-century literature, philosophy, and intellectual history. He is the author of two monographs: Wordsworth's Profession (Stanford University Press, 1997) and Romantic Moods: Paranoia, Trauma, and Melancholy, 1794-1840 (Johns Hopkins University Press, 2005). Prof. Pfau is currently at work on a book focusing on the aesthetic and political implications of the concept of Bildung in Romanticism.
Lecture Title: "Community as Metaphysics: Coleridge on Person & Conscience"

Tilottama Rajan
Canada Research Chair in English
University of Western Ontario
Tilottama Rajan is the author of Deconstruction and the Remainders of Phenomenology: Sartre, Foucault, Derrida, Baudrillard (2002); The Supplement of Reading: Figures of Understanding in Romantic Theory and Practice (1990); and Dark Interpreter: The Discourse of Romanticism (1980). Prof. Rajan, who has carried out influential scholarship on the intersections of British and German Romanticism with psychoanalysis, Marxism, and aesthetic theory, is currently at work on a project focused on these interconnections in Romantic narrative.
Lecture Title: "'A Peculiar Community': Mary Shelley, Godwin, and Romanticism"

Orrin N.C. Wang
Associate Professor of English
University of Maryland, College Park

Orrin NC Wang is author of Fantastic Modernity: Dialectical Readings in Romanticism and Theory (Johns Hopkins, 1996) and Romantic Sobriety: Sensation, Revolution, Commodification, History (Johns Hopkins, 2011). His essays on a wide range of topics on the interconnections between Romantic literature and contemporary literary theory have appeared in Studies in Romanticism, Diacritics, Yale Journal of Criticism, MLQ, ELH, Criticism, Jumpcut; and Romantic Circles Praxis.
Lecture Title: "The New in Romantic Common Life"

Deborah Elise White
Associate Professor of English and Comparative Literature
Emory University
Deborah Elise White is the author of Romantic Returns: Superstition, Imagination, History (Stanford University Press, 2000) which draws on the work of William Collins, William Hazlitt and Percy Bysshe Shelley to show the continuing importance of romantic concepts of imagination for thinking and theorizing the historicity of literature. She has also  published a number of essays on romanticism and literary theory including essays on Freud, Coleridge, Hugo and Derrida. Professor White is currently completing a book on the rhetoric and poetics of dates in nineteenth-century writing about revolution.
Lecture Title: "After the Revolution:  Marx and Engels on the Political Romanticism of Exile"

Nancy Yousef
Associate Professor of English
Baruch College and Graduate Center, City University of New York

Nancy Yousef specializes in literature and philosophy of the Enlightenment and Romanticism. Her research interests include intersections between ethics, psychoanalysis and literary representation. She is the author of Isolated Cases (Cornell University Press, 2004) and is currently writing a new book on representations of intimacy. Among her other publications are essays on Jean-Jacques Rousseau, Mary Wollstonecraft, William Wordsworth, Mary Shelley, and Charles Dickens. She has been the recipient of fellowships from the American Council of Learned Societies (2002-2003) and the National Humanities Center (2006-2007). In addition to Great Works of Literature, Prof. Yousef regularly teaches courses in the nineteenth century novel and women in literature.
Lecture Title: "Respecting Emotion: Austen's Gratitude"